Apple will combat AirTag stalking by making unknown AirTags easier to find

By | February 13, 2022

Enlarge / AirTag box at an Apple Store on April 30, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (credit: Getty Images | James D. Morgan)

Apple yesterday announced upcoming AirTag updates designed to combat stalking and other unwanted tracking.

“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” Apple said. Thieves have used AirTags to track high-end cars, and stalkers have used the devices to track women. Apple’s update yesterday acknowledged that the company has “seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.”

AirTags already have some safety features, such as making beeping sounds when they’ve been away from their linked devices for a day. iPhones also receive warnings about unknown AirTags nearby. But the beep can be difficult to hear, and the timing of the warnings apparently varies. One person who was tracked “said she was notified four hours after her phone first noticed the rogue gadget,” while “others said it took days before they were made aware of an unknown AirTag,” a New York Times article in December said.

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